On Tuesday, 14th December 2021, seven members of Athelstan Lodge travelled down to the Berkshire Masonic Centre at Sindlesham.
The Consecration of a new Lodge, Gourmet Lodge No 10008.
Brother John Nixon, a member of Athelstan, was to be the Primus Master.
W Bro John moved to Berkshire many years ago and, in fact, became an Assistant Grand Master in that Province.
He has still retained his membership in Athelstan visiting regularly and will be receiving his 50-year Certificate at our meeting in February 2022. So what better reason to support him and, what a fantastic day it was.
Right Worshipful Brother Anthony Charles Howlett-Bolton OBE, (below, seated, left) was the Consecrating Officer, ably assisted by Very Worshipful Brother Peter Sands, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master (below, seated, right).
A superb ceremony followed by the Installation of W Bro John and he then Installed his Officers in the new Lodge.
On to the Festive Board, and, as the name suggests, it really was a Gourmet meal; five courses and fine wine to supplement it. Christmas carols and songs performed by the Sainsbury’s Singers rounded off a splendid occasion.
The Freemasons of Berkshire made all the visitors, from many parts of the country, very welcome, and I think it is fair to say everyone had a great day.
Athelstan Lodge was consecrated on 18th November 1870. Plans were afoot to celebrate this significant event in 2020, but due to circumstances beyond our control, the landmark 150 year celebrations were delayed by a year.
The regular meeting in November within the Lodge Rooms was honoured by the presence of Assistant Provincial Grand Master W Bro Howard L Smith PJGD, W Bro Trevor Siddall ProvSGW and W Bro Andrew Lee ProvJGW very ‘abely’ (sic) supported by W Bro Simon Abel Prov Dep GDC.
The Lodge was opened by the APGM and Provincial Wardens in front of a bumper attendance of 70 including many distinguished visitors from as far afield as, Berkshire Derbyshire, Oxfordshire, Staffordshire and Yorkshire.
After the Lodge was called off the focal point of the evening then took place. W Bro Phillip Benson delivered an immensely entertaining and highly interesting presentation on the history of the Lodge.
This included Secretary W Bro Brian Whitmore reading the minutes of the first meeting, a quiz and a fascinating video slide show depicting world and local historical events that had taken place during the Lodge’s 150 years.
Whilst acknowledging the previous work carried out by W Bro JD Austin, W Bro Peter Stickland, W Bro BW Austin, and W Bro R Moore, W Bro Phillip has spent thousands of hours meticulously researching and updating the history and has produced an excellent booklet ‘Athelstan Lodge 1333 – A Brief History’.
A copy of the booklet was handed to, and gratefully received by, each attendee.
He was wholeheartedly applauded by all Brethren and Visitors present for his unique and compelling presentation which was the highlight of a memorable evening. The Asst PGM, W Bro Smith, congratulated W Bro Benson, saying it was a unique presentation, the likes of which he had never seen before at a Lodge. The WM, W Bro Phil Salmon, later presented the AProvGM with a cheque for £1,000 for the 2023 Festival to commemorate the occasion.
The Festive Board followed at the nearby Red Lion Hotel where in addition to the formal toasts the WM and AProvGM cut a specially commissioned cake made by SW Bro Mejar Singh and a local cake decorator. ‘Master Baker’ Mejar also produced a commemorative 1333- inscribed bread for every table fresh from his local bakery business
The numerous messages from both Brethren and Visitors after the event hugely reflect the success of both W Bro Phil Benson’s excellent presentation and a most convivial Festive Board.
Here’s to the Tercentenary …
Following on from the successful Lodge Cricket Match on 1 August 2021,the proceeds were donated equally to Atherstone Boxing Club and Atherstone Rangers Junior Football Club.
Both clubs provide excellent facilities for a wide age range in Atherstone, with unsung volunteers giving up many hours to enable the youngsters to flourish and develop their confidence and skills.
Two presentations were made at separate locations on the 10 August with the Lodge represented by:
- (Top Picture) – Bro Mejar Singh (SW), W Bro Phil Salmon, Master, W Bro Brian Whitmore (Sec) and Bro Ray Archer (JW).
- (Bottom Picture) – W Bro Phil Salmon, Master, Bro Mejar Singh (SW), Bro Ray Archer (JW), and W Bro Brian Whitmore (Sec).
Rain greeted us early on the morning of Sunday, 1 August for the annual cricket match founded in memory of Ade Hadleigh who sadly passed away too young in 2013.
By the afternoon, the sun had come out and over 60 attended the match at Atherstone Cricket Club keenly contested by teams representing Worshipful Master (W Bro Phil Salmon) and Senior Warden (Bro Mejar Singh). A keenly contested match was won by the WM’s team. W Bro Cedric Stiles and Bro Mejar very generously sponsored the delicious Hog Roast and the sum of £565 was raised which will be donated to local organisations nominated by the WM and SW.
The opportunity was also taken to invite representatives from the Guide Dogs for the Blind and Atherstone Scouts Group who were presented with cheques for £1,000 each on behalf of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire. Both organisations were overwhelmed by these generous donations and promised they would be put to good use.
Daniel Smith was invited to play and was delighted to receive the trophy for best bowler!
Guide Dogs for the Blind
Ray Archer (JW), Dianne and Graham Fowler and Frankie (seated!) from the Guide Dogs for the Blind), Phil Salmon (WM) and Mejar Singh (JW)
Atherstone Scouts Group
Mejar Singh (SW), Daniel Smith (Scouts Group), Phil Salmon (WM) , Lynda Smith (Scouts Group), Ray Archer (JW)
One of our Brethren, Bro Andrew Keeling, who keeps sheep, was dismayed when they escaped and, unfortunately, had a tasty meal from the neighbours flower beds! Anxious to offer compensation he decided to purchase replacement plants, so he approached Bro Ray Archer, our Junior Warden, a keen gardener, to see if he had any spare bedding plants for sale.
On checking his stock Bro Ray found he had quite a lot of surplus stock. So, as well as supplying Bro Andrew, Ray decided to advertise them on our “Athelstan WhatsApp Group” with all proceeds going to Charity. His chosen charity was Parkinsons UK, which he has supported for a number of years and is very close to his heart, as well as to our W Masters.
As a result of the tremendous support from both the Brethren of Athelstan Lodge and Rays neighbours he has been able to donate in excess of £340.00 to Parkinsons UK.
It is characteristic of Bro Ray that when asked if his efforts could be acknowledged he was typically modest, saying, it was very easy when you can make money from something that gives so much pleasure.
Well done Ray and thanks to the all the Brethren for their tremendous support.
On 4 July 2019, Philip Salmon, Peter Weightman & Tony Pritchard, ably supported by Jenny Pritchard and Olive Whitmore, finally went to present the Athelstan Lodge donation of £500 to the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association Central Midlands Team, at their Dog Training Centre at Edmonscote Manor, Leamington Spa.
Brethren will remember this was in conjunction with the Atherstone Red Lion who made it possible. We were able to increase the sum handed over to £1,000 thanks to the much-appreciated match-funding donation from the Warwickshire Provincial Charity Office.
The day was made that much more special by it being one of their Open Days where, together with 30 other visitors, we were shown by the volunteers the training work they do, the facilities they have and how they care for the dogs in their charge.
Group participation included a few of those present being blindfolded and led by a ‘dog’ (actually one of the handlers!) to understand a little of how helpless one felt being led around by someone in the dark. Little did they know that the three Freemasons were no strangers to that experience!
The photo features the volunteer recipient with her dog, together with Peter, Phil and Tony. A case of representing the immediate Past, Present & Future of the Lodge.
Every few years, each Province within UGLE stages a festival to raise money for charity.
Posted 10 May 2019
Bob Powell and Patricia Harris Powell were regular diners at the Blue Boar, Mancetter, several times a week. It was a place they both enjoyed going as the staff knew them both very well, and they felt it was a second home.
Late in 2018, Bob and Patricia visited the blue boar, had their food, and as was the norm, Bob went to the toilet whilst Patricia went to pay the bill. Unfortunately, Bob never came back from the toilet as he had suffered a cardiac arrest.
Staff called for an ambulance and carried out CPR. Despite the best efforts of the staff and the ambulance crews, Bob passed away.
Janine and Donna, who are staff members at the Blue Boar, felt that the best way to remember Bob was to do something positive. They embarked on a journey to get a Defibrillator installed on the outside of the pub for the use of the community. They felt this would be a fitting tribute to a valued and well-loved customer, and that this vital piece of equipment, when installed, could possibly save a life.
Fund raising was started, and North Warwickshire First Responders were contacted for advice on what was best to purchase. On hearing their story, the team were more than happy to help and spread the word.
A few weeks after funding had started, Councillor Mejar Singh Gill contacted North Warwickshire First Responders to offer a donation towards the project from the Athelstan Lodge 1333, which was gratefully received. A few days later, Mejar contacted the team again to offer a fully-funded Defibrillator from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire. With the money already donated, including a further £300 from Athelstan Lodge, and the defibrillator funded by The Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire, all that was left was to cover the shortfall for the cabinet to house the defibrillator, which the North Warwickshire First Responders were happy to do.
Bob and Patricia were together for over 40 years; he was a loving husband, father and grandfather and is greatly missed by everyone. Patricia has said how wonderful all the staff have been since Bob passed away, and she is forever grateful for all their support,
On 28th March 2018, the following people attended an unveiling of the new cabinet and defibrillator at the Blue Boar, in loving memory of Bob Powell and Craig Sperrin. Craig was the owner of the Blue Boar, and sadly passed away in 2016 from a heart condition.
Patricia Harris Powell
Janine Cassidy and Donna Davis – Staff members and the driving force behind the project at the Blue Boar
Samantha Hall – Coordinator, North Warwickshire First Responders
Eddie Stephenson – North Warwickshire Community Responder, based in Atherstone
Bobby Qayum – Community Response Manager, West Midlands Ambulance Service
Councillor Mejar Singh Gill – Member, Athelstan Lodge 1333
Brain Whitmore – Secretary, Athelstan Lodge 1333, a Past Provincial Officer
Peter Weightman – Immediate Past Master, Athelstan Lodge 1333
Tony Pritchard, Master Athelstan Lodge 1333
Posted 29 March 2019
One of our own was honoured by an Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Peter P Manning, when he was presented with a certificate recording his 50 years in Freemasonry. Peter Stickland, Initiated 6 March 1969, received the certificate at the meeting at Athelstan Lodge Rooms held on Thursday, 7 March 2019.
With the temple full, his life and career in Masonry was celebrated, with Peter surrounded by friends who had, in many cases, travelled from far and wide to be there.
The photo show the two Peters at the Festive Board later.
Posted 8 March 2019
Athelstan Lodge No 1333 received a request from Warton and Austrey Scout Group for help in raising £500.00 to enable them to purchase 4-man tents, this to enable them to go camping during the Easter holidays.
As a Lodge, we are committed to try and help local charities and organisations. To this end our Worshipful Master, W Brother Gerard Somers, arranged for the whole amount to be donated to them.
The attached photograph shows our W Master presenting the cheque to two of the Scout Leaders.
To quote the recipients of the cheque, “This will enable our group to camp over the Easter weekend and whenever in the future due the money being available so quickly, we would have needed over 2 years of events to raise this money. Many thanks”.
On December 1st 2016 W Bro David Evans completed his year as Worshipful Master of Athelstan Lodge. During his year, ably abetted by his wife Karen and with the support of the Brethren and their partners, he raised the magnificent sum of £6,241.00 for Charity.
A Burns night, Sunday Lunch, Week-end away, Garden Party and culminating with his Ladies Festival, all helped to raise the money.
The lucky recipients were The Mary Ann Evans Hospice and the St Giles Hospice, the nearest Hospices to Atherstone, they received £3120.50 each.
The cheques were presented at Athelstan Lodge Rooms to a delighted Janet Kavamagh, Mary Ann Evans Hospice and Mr Richard Phillips, St Giles Hospice who thanked both W Bro David and all the Members of Athelstan Lodge for the generosity.
Not for the first time in the Lodge’s history, but certainly in living memory, a double Initiation was carried out at Athelstan Lodge on Thursday, 7 February 2013.
Brothers Andrew (26) and Mathew Keeling (24), both agricultural engineers based at Wishaw, became the latest members of the Lodge and Brethren in Freemasonry, with many members of their family looking on.
Pictured (left-to-right) are Bro Mathew Keeling; W Bro Dan Prentice, Mathew’s Proposer, and Seconder to Andrew; Bro John Lockhart, Grandfather to both candidates; and Bro Andrew Keeling.
We are now assured of an excellent piper at our Burns’ Night Suppers; Andrew is a skilled player of the bagpipes, as we can attest from his performances at previous events.
W Bro John Lockhart was also added to the Lodge’s ranks by being admitted as a Joining Member at the meeting on Thursday, 7 March.
Athelstan Lodge now has a Facebook presence.
Members of Athelstan Lodge joined the annual Remembrance Parade on Sunday, 11 November 2012, to honour those who lost their lives in two World Wars. The Master, W Bro Robert Evans, with a number of other brethren, marched with representatives of other Atherstone-based organisations to the Memorial Hall where a service was held.
A number of Lodge members took part in the service as part of their affiliation with other organisations and as representatives of local government, including the current Mayor of Atherstone, Bro Mejar Singh Gill.
After the service, those involved moved in procession to the cemetery in Sheepy Road, where a further open-air act of remembrance took place in brilliant sunshine. Poppies were dropped from a bi-plane as a fitting end to the proceedings.
W Bro Frank Salt, an ex-RAF bomber command technician, laid a wreath on the newly-refurbished memorial on behalf of the members of the Athelstan Lodge.
Following the return of the column to the muster point in the town, with the Mayor and other dignitaries taking the salute along the way, members of the Lodge, their wives and friends, ended a thoroughly successful event with a welcome cup of coffee at the Atherstone Red Lion hotel, who donated £1.50 of the cost of each hot drink bought that morning to the local Poppy Appeal.
MasonicMeetings.info is a recent venture, built by a Mason, Bro H Rietveld, which provides dates, times and venues for Masonic meetings in the UK, Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg; other countries will be added in due course.
If you are looking for somewhere to visit, this is the place to look. An excellent resource, offering qualified links to Masonic meetings.
Atherstone Boxing Club have received £200 from Atherstone Lodge 1333 to help it bounce back from the ropes. The club has said they will be putting this donation towards new equipment. This will allow them to provide an improved training environment with all round better facilities for the people of Atherstone and surrounding areas.
Posted March 12 2012
Polesworth (Abbey) Scout Group has received a donation of £330 from Athelstan Lodge 1333 towards relocating to a new headquaters. Upon receiving the donation Derron Blount, Group Scout Leader, had the following to say, “On behalf of Polesworth (Abbey) Scout Group, I would like to thank you for Athelstan Lodge No.1333’s kind donation of £330.00.”
As a symbol of gratitude Polesworth (Abbey) Scout Group have also added Athelstan Lodge’s crest to the foot of their standard letters. Athelstan Lodge has since been listed as a supporter of Polesworth (Abbey) Scout Group in their official records.
Posted 12 March 2012
1st Atherstone Scout Group has received a donation of £600 from Athelstan Lodge 1333 to help fund a camping holiday planned for Summer 2012. The Assistant County Commissioner Kim Marston and the Scout group’s children were delighted to receive this donation from Athelstan Lodge.
Kim said “Thank you all so much for your wonderful donation tonight for the youngsters at 1st Atherstone. This will make the trip a lot more achievable to some of those less fortunate, and mean a difference between more kids going and not.” Kim then went on to say “You are all truly wonderful, and once again thank you all from all the kids in the Group.”
Athelstan Lodge recently forged links with 1st Atherstone Scout group following a donation from the United Grand Lodge of England.
Photo: WM, Rob Evans (left), Kim Marston, members and a helper of Atherstone Scouts, and Senior Warden, Richard Smith (right).
A further donation of £600 was also made to Mancetter Scouts on the same evening.
Posted 11 March 2012
Let me introduce myself as the new news editor for Athelstan Lodge 1333.
I am Bro Mark Townend and I have been a member of Athelstan Lodge since 2007. My job from this point forward will be to publish articles relevant to Athelstan Lodge which might be of interest to Members and public alike.
If you have anything that you feel might be of interest please e-mail me on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted 11 January 2012
Following a donation made by the United Grand Lodge of England to assist in the re-creation of the Atherstone (Lockley) Cub Scout Pack, a relationship between 1st Atherstone Scout Group and The Athelstan Lodge 1333 has been formed.
Initially, officers of Athelstan Lodge visited the newly formed Cub Pack and were highly impressed with the activities that the Cubs were completing and the dedication shown by the leaders.
In return, the Scout group visited the Masonic Lodge Rooms in Atherstone and a presentation was given by Bro Richard Smith identifying the key similarities between Scouting and Freemasonry.
Richard commented: “It was a bit of a challenge to give a presentation with such an age range of people, but the Cubs and the Scouts asked a lot of questions about the room and Freemasonry in general.”
Athelstan Lodge is pleased that a relationship now exists with Atherstone Scouts and looks forward to providing continuing support in the future.
Posted 11 January 2012
The new Athelstan Lodge 1333 website has received the seal of approval from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire and can now be advertised to the world at large.
The United Grand Lodge of England no longer issues the UGLE Charter Mark that you may see on other Masonic sites. We are still “legal” though …
We trust the site will be of use to members, visitors and the general public.
Posted 5 January 2012